Dan Nied is a guest columnist for The Man F.A.Q., and you may find more work on his Web site at http://whatdanniedthinks.blogspot.com/
How many NFL mock drafts did you check today? 3? 5? 10? Uhuh. And how excited were you about baseball season starting last week? Jacked level around 87 out of 100, right? And your man crush for Kobe knows no bounds, but you think LeBron might be the better player? And that Tiger Woods…? Ok, shut your mouth.
All that stuff above is pretty cool, I have to admit. Personally, I checked two mock drafts today, and I am more of a LeBron fan than a Kobe fan, and I was wearing my Detroit Tigers jersey for opening day (while I was in California, at that). So I understand where you’re coming from. But that doesn’t make you any less of an idiot. Why? Because you don’t care about the one sports happening that actually matters right now.
So … Hey, idiot: Why are you ignoring the NHL playoffs?
Yep, they started Tuesday night, and there are some pretty awesome subplots that even a hockey ignoramus — which you probably are — can sink his teeth into.
In the East, you’ve got the still-developing but already-fabled battle between the defending champion Penguins and the top-seeded Capitals (if you don’t know where these teams are from, you should probably quit reading). Of course, this budding rivalry features the only two current NHL players you’ve probably ever heard of in Sidney Crosby, who it’s OK to hate if you’re American (again, if you don’t know why, stop reading), and Alexander Ovechkin, who rocks the best unibrow in sports.
The Pens and Caps are seemingly destined to clash down the line, perhaps in the second round, but the best bet is the conference finals.
In the West, the Goliath Red Wings sneaked into the playoffs as the fifth seed after a tumultuous first-half of the season. The top-seeded Sharks are searching for postseason respect after a half-decade of playoff flops. The resurgent Blackhawks, the 2-seed, might just be the favorites to make the finals and, eventually, bow to Crosby or Ovechkin.
And yeah, that sounds like a prediction, and since you aren’t that smart I’ll let you believe, for a second, that it is.
But the beauty of the NHL playoffs is that you can’t take anything for granted. Unlike the NBA, it wouldn’t be shocking if an 8-seed topples a 1-seed. The NHL’s regular season means less than your promise to teach yourself Spanish one of these days. It’s a sport that requires a full team effort, yet can still be taken over by one flaming-hot goalie.
This is a two-month, four-round spectacle that rivals any postseason in sports, including the NCAA tournament. Trust me, if you start watching, you’ll see at least one triple overtime game (and these are 20-minute OTs, not five. Oh, and they’re sudden death!) that will force you to remind yourself to breathe. Even if you don’t have a dog in the fight, you can appreciate the roughshod poetry that is playoff hockey.
So yes, go read a few more mock drafts and rank Tiger’s girls 1-18. But, for the next two months, keep an eye on the NHL playoffs. It’s going to be the best sports decision you’ve ever made.